Meet the Team
Matt Forir, Director of Missouri Institute of Natural Science, and President of the Board of Directors
Matt has had a love for fossils since the age of four, when he collected his first fossils which are currently on display at the Institute. From there he began a lifelong quest to build his own museum that would house fossils & minerals from around the world as well as being at the forefront of scientific research. Matt has collected fossils on two continents and been a part of numerous digs, ranging from dinosaurs to humans as a forensic osteologist, the study of human bones.
Matt is also a Professor of Speleology for Drury University as well as the Geologist for Greene County Missouri
Dave Coonrod, a founding Board member
Dave was instrumental in helping MINS get started and has helped it grow to the facility it is today. As the presiding commissioner for greene county dave saw the educational value of Riverbluff Cave and the need for Missouri to have its first natural history museum located near the cave.
Rob Curran, Legal Counsel
After having Matt Forir help him with a fossil collecting expedition with his children, Rob liked the idea of a museum so much he asked if he could be a part of it. He has been the Institutes legal counsel since 2004 and has joined us on many expeditions from Mississippi to South Dakota. He continues to help guide the Institute to its fullest potential, and continues to offer his help with the digs.
Barb Houser, Treasurer on the Board of Directors
Barb has been with the Institute since the beginning of its conception in 2003. She has served in the capacity of both a trusted board member and the Institutes accountant. Over the years Barb and her family have helped in all areas, including digs, and public outreach.
Richard Anderson, Technology Advisor and member of the Board of Directors
Richard began his work with the Institute in 2006 when he led the project to install fiber optics inside Riverbluff Cave, making it the first cave in the world to have fiber optics. He has since become a board member and continues to advise us with our technology needs.
Derek Patterson, member of the Board of Directors
Derek has been a friend of the cave for many years, joining the board in 2011. Derek hopes to be able to bring about new ideas on how to expand the museum's reach to the community and advise on possible fund raising and grant research needs. Derek holds a B.A. in Biology with an Emphasis in Environmental Studies from Drury University.